Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

WC, Stairs & Downstairs Hallway ~ Before, in Between & After

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So from what I understand you don't mind more B&A's so here's another one. This one starts upstairs and ends up in the basement. Enjoy!

TIny upstairs bathroom


Wasn't it just lovely?  Ivy patterned paper, olive toilet seat, wonky cabinet and lighted mirror. Ugh. Oh and not to forget, the cracked tile floor.


This was taken quite a few years later but this space was one of the first I tackled. I say I because there was no way Martin could tackle anything with me in there. We can barely squeeze past each other to get our toothbrushes in the morning. I tore out the masonite boards that the wallpaper was pasted onto and simply sanded the bare wood down a little bit and then painted it all white with water based paint. I laid white floor tiles and installed the glass shelves. And no, I didn't change the toilet and sink. It's the same, just a really bad photo back in 1998, but I did switch seats… Actually, the toilet and sink color was one of my favorite things about the house when we viewed it.

Toa (7) 

Some years later we built the narrow cabinet to the left. It matches the other corner where the pipes run and the dis-symmetry of the space before always bugged me AND we needed more storage. I switched the glass shelves at the back wall to painted wood ones and took the opportunity to give everything else a fresh coat of paint too. Next project to do in here is to lay a new tile floor with under floor heating. Hopefully I'll get it done this fall, around the hoildays or maybe next spring.




Right next to the door to the tiny bathroom is the door to the basement and I remember the feeling of dispair when I saw it after seeing the OK upstairs in terms of decor. Just about every pattern imaginable was represented in this small space. Yellow faux brick wallpaper on two walls, ships-in-stormy-weather paper on two walls, orange faux brick vinyl floor, blue/grey patterned runner on stairs, grey painted stairs, burgundy doors. It was all a bit much. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the lovely open-for-all-to view fuse boxes.


I just had to hide the fuse boxes so I sewed a piece of fabric that I attached at the top of the stairwell and fastened over a pipe at he bottom. Not the most sophisticated solution but at least I didn't have to see the dang things everytime I opened the door. By this time we had tiled the floors downstairs, painted the stairs and the walls. Before painting the walls I removed the old wallpaper by wetting it and rubbing the whole thing off with a scrub sponge…very messy but also very satisfying. Oh, the doors are no longer burgundy, I painted them and the stairs in a sort of jadeite color. Très Martha.


I don't know if you can tell the biggest difference here, besided from this being a better photo and that there's a door covering the fuse boxes. The big difference is actually the light switch being white and not black as in the previous photo. By now we had had our whole house rewired. It's something you should definitely consider doing before starting any other renovations but it took us quite a few years to be able to afford it so we did it after we had done almost everything else. We have THE best electricians though so after they were done you could barely notice they'd been here, besides from everything now being safe and with all new (but vintage in style) white light switches.


Basement Hallway


You are in luck! Not only do you see the ships-in-storm wallpaper up closer but the burgundy doors are very much in your face now. And the bonus, the piece de resistance; the pipe from the upstairs toilet. All lovely features in the downstairs hallway. Actually there is a lovely feature, for real, in this photo. No not the coat but the coat rack. It's is the one we use upstairs now. It's a classic and is still available in some design stores. The cool thing is that it was designed in 1937, the year our house was built. By the way, that door to the left is what we built the bench upstairs out of.


There was virtually no heating in this part of the house so we had a radiator installed in the area of the coatrack (you can just barely see the top of it in the lower left corner ).To disguise it we built a rad cover around it and a book shelf above. The shelves are open at the back so air can circulate. The toilet pipe is still there but not visible from where I was standing.

Hall nere (9)

A little later still and there's a cover which lets air circulate in front of the radiator, an additional shelf had been built next to the now covered up pipes after they had been switched out to new and improved ones.

More downstairs to come.